No. 423
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
April 23, 2019

George Dixon’s Victory over Australian Billy.

February 26, 2013
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Spanish general Jose Aranguren was shot on this date in 1939 by Franco’s Spain. A brigadier general of the Civil Guard — an internal-to-Spain paramilitary/law enforcement force that remained predominantly loyal to the Republic during the Spanish Civil War — Aranguren (the very cursory English Wikipedia entry | the more detailed Spanish) at the outset […]
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The Savoy bookstore in Westerly, R.I. was cram-packed with Borden case enthusiasts this evening as author Cara Robertson held forth …

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Lizzie Borden : Warps & Wefts - 3/26/2019
"Roses are red, Violets are blue, And my cat is, too." Cats and weird little stories from the past.  What could be more Strange Company than that?  For this reason, I'm delighted to temporarily pass the blog's steering wheel over to Peggy Gavan, whose upcoming book, "The Cat Men of Gotham: Tales of Feline Friendships in Old New York" (Rutgers University Press, May 3, 2019,) is now available
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Strange Company - 4/22/2019

Jeff and Joe Soapy Smith buries Joe Simmons The Illustrated Police News April 9, 1892 (Click image to enlarge) oe Simmons was a tall, slender gambler known to many as “Gambler Joe” Simmons, a member of the Soap Gang who managed Soapy Smith's Tivoli Club in Denver, 1890, and Soapy's Orleans Club in Creede, 1892. According to William Devere’s poem "Two Little Busted Shoes," Simmons
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 3/25/2019
Rosa Buckstahlen and Ida Bjornstad, servants in the Chicago mansion of Amos J. Snell, were awakened at 2:00 the morning of February 8, 1888, by the sound of a gunshot from the floor below. They heard someone shout “Get out! Get out of here!” followed by more gunshots, then silence. Thinking that all was well—or more likely, too frightened to do anything else—the girls went back to sleep.
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Murder by Gaslight - 4/20/2019
I count six transportation options Brooklynites had in 1915, according to this rich and detailed postcard of Flatbush Avenue. There’s the elevated train, of course, as well as a streetcar, automobile, bicycle, horse and wagon, and of course, getting around on foot, as most of the crowd seems to be doing—when they’re not mugging for […]
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Ephemeral New York - 4/21/2019
[Editor’s note: Guest writer, Peter Dickson, lives in West Sussex, England and has been working with microfilm copies of The Duncan Campbell Papers from the State Library of NSW, Sydney, Australia. The following are some of his analyses of what he has discovered from reading these papers. Dickson has contributed many transcriptions to the Jamaica Family […]
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Early American Crime - 2/7/2019
The Pawn-Ticket Game. | Burglary Tools.

George Dixon’s Victory over Australian Billy.

George Dixon

Dixon’s Right Lands on Murphy’s Body.

The Colored Wonder Defeats the Australian Champion in Six Rounds in New York, Jan. 22. [more]

Murphy the other night was quick and decisive. The long-legged foreigner made a showing in the first couple of rounds which was well calculated to give adherents of the colored wonder some uneasiness, but after that there was no doubt—beyond the usual chance factor—about the result. The “Little Torpedo,” as Harry Weldon calls him, proved to be a “verry cunnin’ gent.” When he found himself lacking the ability to force the pace himself, and he found himself unable do go, the terrible volley of left-handed punches whcih were being shot into his face, neck and body, with rare discernment and discretion he gracefully took advantage of the first opportunity that was afforded him to “turn it up.” That was the opinion of Referee Roche and hundreds of others who sat up close to ringside and had a position to see in minute detail everything that was going on. In the third round he looked as if he didn’t want to go any further, but Dixon, who expressed a determination to give him a good walloping in return for past offenses, “pulled a hit” to enable Murphy to steady himself. The affair was too one-sided to deserve any extended reference.

Dixon’s defeat of Murphy makes it more apparent than ever that the former should be given another chance at Erne. When he met the latter recently he was not conditioned and in no shape to fight. He has remedied his faults, corrected his habits and settled down to hard work. He never was in better condition than the other night. Had he looked as carefully to his preparations for the Erne affair, the latter never could have earned a decision over him.

The two are matched again, however, to fight at Dan Stuart’s carnival or wherever the best inducments can be obtained. If under Stuart’s auspices it will be a finish affair, but if under a social club the duration of the bout will be only five rounds.


Reprinted from The National Police Gazette, February 6, 1897